Library automation company Polaris Library Systems officially launched its Polaris Developer Network this week, a website with documentation, downloads, and forums aimed primarily at providing outside library software developers with testing tools and the information needed to build their own web or mobile applications using the Polaris integrated library system’s (ILS) open application programming interface (API).
Polaris senior software developer Jeff Young described the network as, in part, “a place where we could place our developer documentation, and sample code on how to use the API.”
The network also includes the Polaris Sandbox, an online environment where library developers can test applications using Polaris’s API and its PowerPAC public-access catalog interface, without the libraries having to immediately invest in their own development servers. Membership in the Polaris Developer Network is free to Polaris contract customers, and commercial vendors may also purchase membership accounts.
So far, more than 30 developers have signed up to use the network, according to Young, since it was unofficially announced at the last Polaris users’ group meeting at the end of September.
Some libraries, such as Darien Library, CT, have already been making use of Polaris’s open API. When Darien went live with the Polaris ILS in December 2010, John Blyberg, Darien’s assistant director for innovation and user experience (and a 2006 LJ Mover & Shaker), told LJ that part of the reason it chose Polaris was due to the fact that it could support its SOPAC 2 user interface, which was eased by the open API access.